Life threw many challenges at him from a young age, but Sajeev Suseelan, a 43-year-old native of Angamaly in Kerala, fought them like a warrior, triumphing over adversities. Despite being mocked for his dwarfism and facing job rejections due to his physical condition, he found contentment and success as an auto driver.
Sajeev was born a normal, healthy baby, but at the tender age of five, he was struck by polio, altering the course of his life forever. The debilitating disease left him with the challenges of dwarfism, forcing him to confront not only physical obstacles but also a barrage of insults and humiliation throughout his youth. Sajeev underwent nine surgeries to stand straight and walk. The physical and mental trauma led him to drop out of school after completing the tenth standard.
Undeterred by adversity, Sajeev resolved to rise above the negativity surrounding him. He set out to defy societal expectations and prove that his stature did not define his capabilities. “I approached several people seeking a job, but my requests were turned down because I was a dwarf. But I wasn’t ready to give up. In 2005, I learned to drive an autorickshaw and started working as an auto-rickshaw driver,” Sajeev told “Open Digest.”
For the last 18 years, Sajeev has found solace in the driver’s seat of an auto-rickshaw. The three-wheeler became more than just a means of livelihood for Sajeev; it became a symbol of his triumph over adversity. “I am happy being an autorickshaw driver. I work every day from 7 am to 11 pm. I operate two school pick-up and drop trips every day and also fetch passengers from Angamaly railway station,” he said.
Sajeev also found a life partner who shared his experiences. His wife, Jisha Sajeev, 41, also a dwarf, has been his pillar of support, standing by him through thick and thin. Together, they have forged a path to happiness, proving that love and understanding can overcome societal prejudices. Jisha, a commerce graduate, is working as an executive at an organisation called Saksham, which works for the welfare of disabled persons. Sajeev is also involved in several welfare activities and is the coordinator of the organisation called “Little People of Kerala,” which fights for the rights of dwarfs in Kerala.
Today, as Sajeev Suseelan leads a fulfilling life with his wife and two children, his aspirations are limited to seeing his children succeed in life. “I couldn’t continue my education properly because of my health issues. But all my efforts now are to provide better education to my children. Also, I pray that no one should ever face my situation because living as a dwarf is not easy in our society,” he added.